Wash. high court: Governor can cancel parole

OLYMPIA — Washington’s governor does have the authority to cancel an inmate’s parole.

That’s the finding Thursday from the state Supreme Court in a case involving a man who shot a Richland police officer in 1982.

Jerry Dean Lain grabbed Officer Mike Fitzpatrick’s gun and shot him twice, including once in the face. Fitzpatrick suffered serious wounds but survived; he still works in law enforcement.

Lain was sentenced to at least 20 years and up to life in prison. A state board recommended he be granted parole in 2010, but after a campaign from Fitzpatrick and others in law enforcement, then-Gov. Chris Gregoire rejected that. Four Lakewood police officers had been killed by a parolee the previous year, and Gregoire noted that Lain was deemed to be a medium to high risk to commit future crimes.

Lain sought court review, but the justices unanimously upheld the governor’s authority to overturn parole recommendations. Lain remains at the Monroe Correctional Complex.

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